US to soften position on Israeli settlements in West Bank

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is planning to announce that the US is softening its position on Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. It’s the latest in a series of Trump administration moves that weaken Palestinian claims to statehood.

Pompeo is scheduled to announce the change on Monday. He is expected to repudiate a 1978 State Department legal opinion that held that civilian settlements in the occupied territories are “inconsistent with international law.”

A draft of his remarks obtained by The Associated Press shows that the Trump administration believes that legal questions about the settlements are a matter for the Israeli courts.

The move will likely anger Palestinians and put the US at odds with other nations working to end the conflict.

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